Swedish TV channel TV4 announced on Friday that it has refused to broadcast a campaign advert by the far-right Sweden Democrats because it claims it contains racial hatred.
The party wanted to pay the channel 1.5 million kronor ($201,240) to run the ad. The half-minute advert shows a race in which an elderly woman with a walker is chased by a group of burqa-clad women pushing prams with a slogan promising to safeguard pension funding at the expense of immigration.
According to party press secretary Erik Almqvist, the ad does not violate Swedish law. The party has screened the clip for lawyers, who said that it does not break the law against inciting racial hatred. “The conflict we see as a result of mass immigration is not related to the person’s origin, but rather a conflict of values, as far as we can see,” said Almqvist in reference to the burqa-clad women in the video.
TV4 CEO Jan Scherman disagreed. “The film is contrary to the democracy clause in the Radio and Television Act and also against democracy clauses which the Sweden Democrats, among others, have adopted for the equality of all people, regardless of whether it is the European Convention or the UN Charter,” he said. “The film is also against the constitution act on freedom of speech that prohibits hate speech,” Scherman added.